STANDARD 1: MISSION, GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
An institution’s mission constitutes its statement of purpose within the context of higher education and should clearly specify what the institution intends to accomplish. The goals and objectives of an institution set forth how that mission will be fulfilled. An effective mission results from full participation of the college community, is widely communicated, informs the development of goals and objectives, and shapes programs and practices.
The College’s current Mission Statement
clearly sets forth its purpose, defines its unique role in the community, and
its impact is seen throughout the institution’s activities. As part of the last Self Study, the College analyzed
and revised its Mission Statement in a process which included input from a
broad representation of all segments of the College community. The Community College Goals Inventory was part of the
During Fall 2002 Professional Development
Week, in preparation for the current Self Study, the College community again
Since the 1993 Self Study, the College has also revisited its planning processes. The Strategic Planning process that resulted in the 2000-2004 Strategic Plan evolved from an institutional agenda to a more formal and streamlined planning process. The main elements of strategic planning have remained the same:
· the Mission Statement serves as the beginning point of planning and is discussed and interpreted with current issues in mind;
· an Environmental Scan of external factors likely to impact the College over the next several years and an Internal Scan of institutional strengths and weaknesses help identify areas needing attention; and
· the process is informed by the President’s Vision Statement, which focuses the plan on a limited number of areas to receive special attention over a three to five year period.
The charge to the Committee studying
Information used in this analysis of the College’s Mission, Goals and Objectives was derived from numerous interviews with individuals representing the breadth of the institution, survey results, discussions with focus groups representing various constituencies, published College research reports and a review of considerable documentation including the Strategic Plan, the Clarus Report (a consultant’s report on marketing), the College Report Card and several Institutional Research Reports. Goals and Objectives as expressed in the Strategic Plan were evaluated for flexibility and to determine whether they are sufficiently focused on student learning.
The College’s Mission Statement carves
out a unique identity for the College as a provider of transfer, career, and
life-long learning opportunities for the residents of
· open admissions;
· service to students from diverse backgrounds;
· preparation for participation in civic and cultural life;
· meeting the changing economic needs of the city;
· overall development of students, including development of broad social awareness; and
· dynamic, caring environment.
The Mission Statement clearly defines the College as an urban institution, its relationship to the city and wider community, and its open admission policy. It is not a generic college mission statement. Aspects of this strong institutional fit include the observations that:
the majority of the College’s graduates remain in the
· the Mission Statement expresses the goal of increasing awareness of a diverse world beyond the students’ immediate experience. Increased perception of global awareness begins in the classroom and is supported through campus activities. A vast majority of students (94%) have indicated in follow-up surveys that they appreciate the diverse nature of the CCP campus. (See 2002 Graduate Survey Responses); and
· the Mission Statement expresses the goal of improving critical thinking and communication skills that are necessary for any job or further education. Course and curriculum construction strive to fulfill this goal and the majority of CCP graduates indicate they have developed these skills through their College studies. (See IR Report #128).
This Mission Statement serves to guide
decision-making at the institution. One
example of its use in decision-making is seen in the course and curricula development
process. The changes in curriculum and
course development since the last Self Study have been significant and merit
close attention in the context of the utilization of the
Curriculum planning and revision models
also require writers to address how a program reflects Mission elements such as
developments within the regional job market, how the curriculum prepares
students for potential employment, and the transferability of the program.
Furthermore, all career programs are evaluated through internal audits which
require analysis of the program’s fulfillment of the College Mission. Many of the career programs, such as Health
Career, Nursing and Paralegal Studies Programs, also have external
accreditation agencies, which typically require demonstration of the Program’s
connection to the
Utilization of the Mission Statement in
decision-making is also illustrated by the formulation of the College’s Strategic Plan. The 2000-2004
Strategic Plan, and its Progress Reports, consist of five strategic principles and
activities designed to carry out those goals.
The Strategic Plan was
intended to take into consideration current needs, problems, and areas of
concern in College operations, as revealed by extensive scanning of the College
environment and viewed in the context of the College’s
As noted above, the basic planning
process at the College has remained consistent and begins with a consideration
Principle I of the Strategic Plan relates to workforce and economic development. Activities in support of this principle
include the development of career curricula, non-credit offerings, customized
training and completion of the Center for Business and
Strategic Principle II involves relationships with other
educational institutions, both those from which the College receives students,
and those to which it sends students.
The College has had success in strengthening relationships with
universities, particularly in dual admission and articulation agreements. The relationship with secondary schools has
also been strengthened over the last few years and the College has many
initiatives with the
Strategic Principle III is focused on
change. This is the part of the Strategic Plan most directly focused on
students and learning, including an assessment and re-design of student
services, the addition of new courses at Regional Centers, the offering of more
distance education courses, and offering study abroad. Members of the CFT addressed the
implementation of Strategic Principle III, reporting that they encourage
faculty course developers to think about alternative strategies for course
delivery such as modularizing three-credit offerings into three separate
one-credit courses. To date, two
leadership courses and a political science course have been modularized. This Principle and the activities generated
from it fulfill the
Principle IV describes a goal of providing documented success in teaching and
the provision of other services at the College.
Objectives in this part of the Strategic
Plan include the development of a College-wide assessment model and its
implementation through review of the College Mission Statement, the development
of Mission Statements in each unit of the College, the establishment of goals
consistent with these missions, the establishment of criteria for measuring the
accomplishment of goals, the establishment of assessment plans, and the
implementation of procedures to link resource allocation with assessment. Some mission reviews have taken place,
particularly in administrative areas. For
example, in Facilities Management outside
consultants facilitated a study of lines of authority and communication. This
review produced tangible results. A
comprehensive self study for the area was developed encompassing the creation
of mission and goals for every unit in Facilities Management. This in turn has led to numerous changes
including reorganization to promote more effective use of teams, development of
a procedural manual, implementation of orientation and training sessions and
increased recognition of effective performance. This Principle strives to expand the
utilization of the
As indicated above, the current Mission Statement resulted from an extensive process including input from a broad representation of all segments of the College community and was approved by the Board of Trustees in Fall semester 1993. More recently, the College revisited the Mission Statement during Professional Development Week in August 2002, in facilitated roundtable discussions and focus groups with representatives of all constituencies (Trustees, full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, Department Heads, bargaining unit leaders, advisory committees, senior administration, students, support staff, supervisors) about the appropriateness of the Mission Statement.
Participants shared a variety of opinions
about the Mission Statement, but there was a very broad pattern of approval of
Roundtable respondents suggested greater emphasis on some items that are mentioned briefly in the Mission Statement: global education, particularly in the form of international education; giving opportunities to constituencies who do not otherwise have access to higher education; serving diverse populations in the city; and the College’s relationship to the business community, especially the College’s role in providing non-traditional educational experiences for workforce development. The latter was connected in part to a perceived need for more emphasis on providing training and education in computer technology.
In summary, the College community is
aware of its
Awareness of the College Mission Statement has also increased by its inclusion in College documents beyond the catalog, such as employee and student handbooks. The Mission Statement also appears in the introduction to the Strategic Plan, in other College publications, College websites, and in several public settings on campus.
The nature of the College’s
The Counseling Department Transfer
Specialist, who is a member of the College’s Transfer Team (a group of
administrators and faculty who meet on a regular basis to discuss issues
related to articulation and transfer), reports that transfer institutions have
a generally positive view of the College and its
Politicians also have a generally
favorable impression of the College at least with respect to its
Business and community leaders who are active on the College’s advisory committees (all career programs are to have active advisory committees) are aware of the College’s role as an academic institution. A number of prominent business organizations such as SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority), Philadelphia Gas Works, and the General Builders and Contractors’ Association have emphasized they look to the College to provide an education that includes critical thinking and literacy skills in addition to vocational training.
The investment by the College community
The College’s efforts to communicate
On the other hand, business leaders
with less direct contact with the College have sometimes expressed the
impression that the College is a vocational school. Some employers who have contracted for
employee training with the College's Division of Business and Technology and
were interviewed as part of this study were not aware of the presence of
transfer and academic programs in the College's
Taken as a whole, the Strategic Plan, the fundamental planning
document embodying the College’s goals and objectives, clearly reflects the
values contained in the Mission Statement.
Strategic Principle I, for example,
relates to support of workforce and economic development. These goals are clearly stated within the
Strategic Principle III, with its focus
on the College’s students and on student learning outcomes, is the Principle most
clearly premised in the College’s
Similarly with respect to Strategic
Principle IV, which calls for a reconceptulization of the system for setting
and achieving institutional goals, basing its goal-setting and resource
allocation on a system of objective measurements, which in turn are based on a
system of commonly articulated values, there is an evident disconnect between
the goals articulated and the fulfillment of those goals. Accordingly, while the goals of this
Principle fit with the College’s
Overall, the Strategic Plan would have been more focused on student learning if more of its goals were linked to the results of the Internal Scan, which was focused on unmet needs and institutional priorities. In the area of educational issues for example, some of the concerns identified in the Internal Scan include a more proactive approach to encourage student use of appropriate support services that would promote the achievement of their educational goals; a lack of persistence and academic success among remedial students (see IR Reports #84, 93, 95, 98, 103, and 120); less academic success among minority students than among white students (see Institutional Effectiveness-What Do We Know?); and more informal spaces for students to use between classes. These observations are also confirmed by information gathered in focus groups. Academic Department Heads, for example, are concerned about issues identified in the Internal Scan, particularly those that are not fully addressed in the Strategic Plan such as lack of student persistence.
On the other hand, the Scan identified
areas in which the College was succeeding and these areas should also serve to
inform priorities in planning to ensure continued success in fulfilling the
aspects of the
Given that open access is a key component
The Strategic Plan also calls for faculty development initiatives and increased availability of courses in various locations, time-slots, and modes of delivery. But these initiatives do not focus on the larger problem of lack of student persistence. The Internal Scan noted that student success increases with clearly defined student goals and that a more proactive approach to encourage student use of appropriate support services would promote the achievement of their educational goals. Planning should focus institutional efforts towards working with students who need help clarifying and reaching goals.
This last point requires further exploration by the College community at large from the point of view of the Mission Statement; the College has not yet arrived at a consensus about the meaning of “those who may benefit,” and in its planning, has not focused attention on those students who are less prepared or less goal-focused.
in a rigorous, well-publicized College-wide
· Develop a Goals Statement and/or a Values Statement to complement the Mission Statement which will help the College community articulate the priorities of those values expressed in the Mission and assist in decision-making at all levels.
· Develop a plan to continue to improve communication of the College Mission to outside constituencies.
· Include a set of institutional priorities in the next Strategic Plan which flow logically from needs identified in internal and external studies of the College’s strengths and weaknesses. An explicit method for determining major goals should be developed, based on criteria such as whether there is a link to the College Mission, whether there is institutional support for pursuing a goal, and whether there is financial support available to meet the goals.
· Engage in further discussion to define “those who may benefit” from the College’s offerings, and clearly define the nature of activities which would increase the success of students who are less prepared to succeed.
· Determine through both internal and external discussion, what activities constitute enabling students “to meet the changing needs of business, industry and the professions” to determine the appropriate balance between training and education at the College.
A. Institutional Research Reports Related to Standard 1:
· IR Report #68 – The Community College Goals Inventory – A Summary of Responses (8/92)
· IR Report #84 - The ACT NOW Program - A Description and Evaluation (6/95)
Report #93 – Beating the Odds: Reasons for At-Risk Student Success at
Report #95 – An Evaluation of the
Achievement of the Developmental Education
Report #98 – An Evaluation of the
Achievement of the Developmental Education
· IR Report #103 – Developmental Education Outcomes – Three Years After the Developmental Education Task Force Report (4/99)
· IR Report #116 – Student Preferences for Alternative Course Delivery Options (11/00)
· IR Report #120 – Student Attrition at CCP – When Students Leave, Why They Leave, and Their Academic Success at Departure (6/01)
· IR Report #125 – Institutional Effectiveness 2001 – A College Report Card (3/02)
Report #128 - The Progress of 2001
· IR Report #129 -Institutional Effectiveness 2002 - A College Report Card (1/03)
IR Report #130F -
· IR Report #132 - Transfer Outcomes of Graduates in 2002 (10/03)
· IR Report #133 - Career Outcomes for 2002 Career Program Graduates (10/03)
· IR Report #136 – Institutional Effectiveness 2002 - A College Report Card (1/04)
of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Community College of
E. Office of Communications, Clarus Report (2/01)
of Curriculum Development, Curriculum
Facilitation Team – Mission Statement (
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